University of Bristol Spelæological Society

Totty Pot, Cheddar, Somerset: a History of the Archaeological Excavations and Finds from 1960 to 1998 (UBSS Proceedings v.27(1))

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Gardiner,P.J., 2016. Totty Pot, Cheddar, Somerset: a History of the Archaeological Excavations and Finds from 1960 to 1998. UBSS Proceedings, 27(1) , pp 39-72 Download PDF.

Abstract: The cave now called Totty Pot was discovered in 1960 by archaeologist and caver, Christopher Hawkes. Subsequent excavation by Hawkes, Willie Stanton and members of the Wessex Caving Club in 1961-65, revealed a 4 m deep shaft leading to several small chambers which contained a large quantity of animal bone, flint, pottery and human remains. Microliths and a radiocarbon date of 7450-7050 cal.BC (BM-2973) on human bone indicated the presence of a Mesolithic individual buried in the cave. The 1960s excavations did not anticipate the recovery of such important Mesolithic finds and the excavation has never been published. A research excavation in 1998 by the author confirmed Totty Pot as a burial place with little or no evidence of occupation around the mouth of the cave. This paper has drawn together all the known documentation for the 1960s excavations and this, together with the data from the 1998 fieldwork, has confirmed Totty Pot as one of the significant Mesolithic and Neolithic burial places in Britain.

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